We believe TV should be made in the most sustainable way
As part of our Sky Zero ambition to be net zero carbon by 2030, we’re improving the sustainability of our sports productions and working with industry partners to create change.
In the UK and Ireland, we’re raising awareness through the BAFTA albert Sports Consortium, which we jointly founded with other broadcasters in 2020. We’ve offered our production teams carbon literacy training, encouraged them to use public transport and car shares and cut the number of flights they take.
We’ve been working with BAFTA albert on empowering our teams to make editorial content that supports a vision for a sustainable future, because it’s not just about how we make TV. We’ll use our scale and reach as Europe’s leading direct-to-consumer media and entertainment company, to start new conversations and inspire action. We’ll spread the word through our Sky Sports channels and programmes, inspiring as many people as we can to join us and #GoZero
By Steve Smith, Executive Director of Content, Sky Sports
The visual impact of the climate crisis on sport has become more prevalent in recent years – consider the smoke of blazing forest fires stretching across the courts of the Australian Open - but little is discussed of the role sport plays in our planetary crisis.
A recent report by RTA suggests that the carbon emissions of the global sports industry could potentially be similar in size to a country like Spain, without the emissions of its broadcasters included.
Sport has reach like few others and an immense power to bring positive social change through the actions and words of its athletes, clubs, governing bodies and fans. Now it is time for sport to use its force to act and accelerate our journey to net zero.
Earlier this year at Sky we announced our ambition to be net zero carbon across our entire value chain by 2030 and that means a lot more than just getting our own house in order. We’re focused on improving the efficiencies of our own business, but we know that to get to net zero we need everyone to make significant changes including our customers, suppliers and industry peers.
By sharing information and setting ambitious industry-wide standards we can make a collective difference. It’s why tomorrow, I’m delighted to be attending the first meeting of the newly formed BAFTA albert Sports Consortium alongside BT Sport, BBC, F1 and others, to share best practice on sustainability in sports broadcasting.
And this is something we know, from experience, can make a big difference. Over the last two years we’ve worked with Premier League Productions and other broadcasters to form a power-sharing agreement at football matches, which has led to a carbon saving of around 50 tonnes in six months.
An unexpected ‘green-lining’ to the coronavirus pandemic has been the requirement to accelerate the use of our remote production facilities. We’ll be broadcasting a record 100 football games within 40 days while adhering to the government’s social distancing guidelines and that means we’ve had to move fast to do things differently.
We have been using remote productions for around five years, but never at this scale or for Premier League matches. This has enabled us to get live football back on our screens but has also resulted in huge cuts on the travel and freight of the people and resources who would normally be onsite at matches but are now working from home. It’s these kinds of learnings that we look forward to sharing with our peers in the albert Sports Consortium
Today also sees us become the first sports broadcaster to sign up to the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework. This commitment brings together the global sports community to combat climate change by using sport as a unifying tool to drive climate awareness and action. We can then map a clear trajectory to the net zero emission economy of 2050 that global leaders agreed under the Paris Agreement.
One of the learnings that we bring to the journey to net zero, is that by taking a lead in the Sports community, we can make an impact on society as a whole. Sky Sports can talk to people who green campaigners traditionally may not reach. The success of our Ocean Rescue campaign - highlighting the impact of single-use plastics - shows that Sport can lead the debate, and can be a trigger for wider action to protect our environment. That campaign resulted in us working with the Premier League and its clubs on a reusable cup trial at stadiums, and the Sky Ocean Rescue Test match at the Oval cricket ground, with the stadium going on to set its own target to be SUP-free by the end of 2020.
But we need to do more. Over the next decade, we will use our sports channels and our industry knowledge to encourage everyone to #GoZero with us. We’ll be working with our peers, sporting clubs, governing bodies and athletes to communicate the climate crisis to audiences and help them reduce their carbon footprint.
Just imagine the difference we can make together.
Sky Sports’ Season of Sustainability - All live Premier League and EFL coverage plus Transfer Deadline Day to be albert certified
Liverpool v Leeds United will be the first albert certified live Premier League match
Sky Sports commits to all future football seasons achieving albert certified status
First Transfer Deadline Day to be albert certified
From the start of the 2020/21 season all Premier League and EFL matches shown live on Sky Sports will be certified 3-star albert sustainable productions.
Kicking off at Anfield on September 12th, Liverpool v Leeds United will be the first live Premier League broadcast to achieve certification for the highest standards of sustainable production.
The ‘Season of Sustainability’ is further progress on Sky’s ambition to become net zero carbon by 2030, two decades ahead of government legislation. Through the ‘Season of Sustainability’ Sky will talk directly to sports fans, encouraging them to make simple, everyday changes to reduce their carbon footprint as part of our Sky Zero campaign.
“Seeing the albert certification stamped on our new season football productions is proud moment for the Sky Sports team. We’ve been working hard to make our live productions more sustainable and it’s is a big achievement on Sky’s overall ambition to be net zero carbon by 2030.”
Executive Director of Content, Sky Sports
Tricia Duffy, Strategy Advisor, BAFTA albert, said: "It's fantastic to see Sky setting themselves such ambitious targets. We are all aware of the impact sports production has on the environment but together through the efforts of the albert Sports Consortium, we are finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint as well as bringing the climate into the conversation on screen too. By setting themselves this goal, Sky is really showing what's possible when sustainability is at the top of the agenda."
Paul Molnar, Director of Broadcasting, Premier League,said: “We are delighted that Premier League fixtures broadcast live on Sky will achieve the BAFTA albert certification. This is the latest positive step by Sky, the Premier League and our clubs, as we continue to work together to implement new and more environmentally friendly ways of operating. We remain committed to raising awareness of sustainability and this certification is a great way for us to follow on from the positive action delivered through the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign.”
David Baldwin, Chief Executive, EFL, said: “It is impressive to see Sky Sports setting such ambitious targets and leading the way with sustainable sports productions, not only in the action taken to make their broadcast operations from EFL matches more sustainable, but also as they have with their Sky Zero achievements to date.
“I would like to congratulate everyone at Sky Sports for taking a leading role in this area. EFL Clubs have worked to improve sustainability measures in recent years and it important that as a League we work with stakeholders to share best practice, continually improve and a make a collective contribution to this issue.”
The certification is awarded to productions that meet the sustainable credentials of albert, the BAFTA and industry-backed consortium set-up to tackle the environmental impact of broadcasting and inspire audiences to act on a more sustainable future. Sky Sports are committed to reach this level for all future football seasons and across other live sports broadcasts.
As well as all live Sky Premier League, EFL and Carabao Cup matches, Sky Sports News’ celebrated Transfer Deadline Day on October 5th will be a certifiedalbert sustainable production; with the news organisation using its channels to inform audiences on environmental issues, as well as all the latest done deals.
July 2020 – Sky Sports confirmed as founding member of BAFTA albert Sports Consortium
July 2020 – Work begins on Sky Studios Elstree which will become the most sustainable film and TV production site in the world when it opens in 2022
September 2020 – Sky Sports announces all Premier League, EFL and Transfer Deadline Day live broadcasts will be BAFTA albert certified
Over the last 12 months Sky Sports has expanded its use of remote productions, helping the broadcaster reduce employee travel to live events and cut its carbon footprint. It has also worked with outside broadcast suppliers, encouraging them to #GoZero by writing in responsible business targets, such as zero single-use plastics policies. Carbon literacy training has also been offered to all Sky Sports employees, with this being rolled out to presenters, commentators and pundits throughout the season.
In July, Sky Sports became the first broadcaster to sign up to the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework and is a founding member of BAFTA albert’s Sports Consortium, a group dedicated to driving environmental improvement in the sports broadcasting industry.
Earlier this year, Sky announced it had achieved CarbonNeutral® certification for all of its UK Sky Original productions and received planning permission to build Sky Studios Elstree, what it is planning to be the most environmentally friendly TV studios in the world.
The albert certification will be included on Sky Sports’ titles for Premier League, EFL, Carabao Cup and the EFL Trophy from the start of the season.
Sky Sports is the home of the Premier League with more live matches than any other broadcaster.
About BAFTA albert albert is a collaborative BAFTA, indie and broadcaster backed project that brings the screen industries together to tackle their environmental impact and inspire sustainable living. Founded in 2011 and governed by an industry consortium, the group’s objective is to support everyone working in film and TV to create positive environmental change. They do this by enabling every part of the screen industry to eliminate waste and carbon emissions from production and empowering the industry to create on-screen content strategies that support a vision for a sustainable future
The project offers events, training, certification, a bespoke production carbon calculator and a renewable energy procurement project. Each year over 1000 productions use the albert calculator with a further 300 also applying for albert certification.